The Elemental Switch Dungeon could form part of a larger dungeon or serve as a small dungeon by itself. The premise is that a barrier in the central room prevents progress until all four of the switches found in the side rooms have been switched. Each of the four doorways could instead be portals to other distant places if that better fits the setting and location.
A – The centre room containing the locked door or locked chest. It’s a square with four corridors leading off. Above each corridor is a runic symbol for the element that lays beyond. The locked object is surrounded by four dull gems that are red, green, blue and yellow. As each switch is switched, the gems light up.
1 – A lava tunnel with uneven and awkward surfaces. It gets hotter as you go along and you can hear the sound of blasting fire.
B – An irregular low roofed cave. It would be dark if not for the continual blasts of fire from the many fire vents across the floor. Across the cave is another doorway from which comes a bright red glow. It is 50m away from the entrance to the cave. It is HARD to avoid the bursts of fire.
C – At the centre of the room is a switch made of red crystal on a rock 2m by 2m. Surrounding the rock is a 3m wide trench of bubbling lava. There’s a ledge of 1m between the lava and the walls. The ceiling is 4m and is glowing hot, as are the walls.
2 – A tunnel carved by water that is narrow but quite tall. There is the sound of small waves.
D – A vast cavern that is 100m long and 30m wide. Apart from 3m of beach at the entrance, it is entirely filled with water. The water is only just above freezing and contains a bone shark. The bone shark will lurk in the depths until something enters the water.
3 – A submerged passageway at the far end of the underground lake. What light there is from the lake cavern fades to darkness over its 10m length.
E – A carved room 2m wide, 4m long and 4m deep that is completely filled with water. A blue crystal switch is mounted to the ceiling. It is a medium complex action as the switch is stiff and difficult to move.
4 – A carved corridor that has a perfectly square 2m by 2m shape but it twists and turns for 30m.
F – A ravine that cuts perfectly through the tunnel. Both above and below the walls disappear into darkness after 20m, giving no sign of how high or deep it is. The ravine is 6m across but the bridge is in poor condition and will fail if 2 or more people move on it. There’s also a strong cross wind. The ravine is a recursive drop: if you fall, you will disappear into the darkness below and reappear from the darkness above with your momentum conserved.
5 – Another square tunnel that twists and turns for another 20m. There is the sound of feathers.
G – Faced in a dull white stone that reflects any light, the room is 6m by 6m wide but 30m tall. There are 4 dozen small flying stones with bat wings and 1 yellow crystal switch on feather wings flitting about the room.
6 – A circular passage that looks as though it was made by teeth.
H – A 20m wide half sphere with a floor of unstable sand. Moving on the quicksand creates an accumulating hazard advantage that ticks up along the steeper progression track. A plinth with a green crystal switch on it is 15m from the entrance. When a character is 3m into the room, a gargoyle bursts from the sand. It attacks with swooping attacks using its claws. If it lands at all, it lands on the plinth. It will only attack those on the sand.
Image Credit – Jaye Foster – CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0